Friday, October 31, 2008

Frog Princess

I'm a frog princess today - a new take on an old classic. I guess traditionally I'd be a regular princess, but a frog princess is just so darn cute. I am proud to say that I made this costume all by myself! I had a lot of fun sewing all of the pieces together and turning a plain sweatshirt into something recognizable.  On the bottom I have a short (too short, in my opinion) skit, green tights, and green felt covering my shoes. 

Ever since I can remember my mom's been making our Halloween costumes, and if there's one thing she's taught me, it's that wonderful costumes can be made from sweatsuits! Why? Well we live in New England and it's usually pretty cold when it's finally time to go trick-or-treating. If you want people to be able to see more than just the pant legs of your costume, it needs to be warm. Costumes made with a sweatsuit base allow for ample layering, meaning you can leave the winter jacket at home! 

Although I won't be trick-or-treating this year, I'm happy to carry on the family tradition. 

I like to give credit where credit is due, so I'll let you know that I got the basic (Frog Prince) idea from Martha Stewart. She has a number to unique and simple costume ideas on her website.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I love it! People really get creative at Halloween. The one in the back looks like it has seen better days, but the two in front are still fresh and silly. Sure, they probably saw this idea in a magzine or online, but they still went ahead and did it. They made the effort and look at the delightful result! They chose wonderful pumpkins and carved them well. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


What this black can doesn't know: that's a fake crow. 

I'm getting so excited for Halloween! I love when people decorate their lawns in ways I haven't seen before. This crow is so realistic that I wanted to stop and check it out. I couldn't believe it when the cat came over too! Holy Halloween luck batman!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It's aging, rusting, and cracking, but it's also eye-catching because the color is still vibrant and the numbers are clearly visable from the road. These people want you to know their address. On a dark night you wouldn't have to squint and strain to try to figure out if you're at the right house, you would know with just a quick glance.

Monday, October 27, 2008

White Picket Fence

Fences are used to keep things out (or in). They are used to mark boundaries and protect property and privacy. While white picket fences seem old fashioned, they continue to be popular. 

To me they represent the idea of a happy family, the type you'd see on a sitcom. In reality, anybody can have this fence. I've seen sad looking picket fences and others that have been maintained. Some protect wayward yards and or guard homes that look like they should be in a 50's era photo album. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Isn't he so handsome? He's my family's dog and he lives at home with my parents and my brother. My sister named him Z because he was the last puppy left of the litter. Cute, right? 

He's usually so crazy that photos are just a blur, but this one is actually pretty good. I've been missing him lately and I was happy to find this old picture. Sometimes he's a bad dog (see minute 9:11), but for the most part he's totally sweet (he'll even jump through hoops for me!). He's so loving and high-spirited that it's hard not to smile. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Polka Dot Dress

This is the dress I wore to the wedding last weekend. The picture I took was pretty lackluster, so I fooled around with the levels and contrast in Photoshop and I liked the result (the dress is actually closer to teal than this blue). 

I chose this dress because it has sleeves and *gasp* pockets! I didn't want to wear a summery dress to a fall wedding and risk freezing. Turns out I froze anyway because it was pretty chilly outside. 

I felt terrific in this dress because it fits me very well. I'm starting to discover how nice silk feels, too. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Pink House

On Martha's Vineyard there's a sweet collection of houses known as the Gingerbread Cottages. Although I've been visiting the Vineyard for several years now, this past summer was the first time I took a tour of this section of Oak Bluffs. The very first time I saw The Pink House I was with The Schwarz's mom. I wish I'd had my camera then, because there was laundry hanging out to dry in the back yard and the towels matched the color of the house exactly! 

The houses were so sweet that I had to go back, camera in hand. I don't know much about the history of the houses, but I know that they are built on an old campground. I believe I heard that that they were built when the jigsaw was new, which is why they have all of the intricate woodwork that makes them so beautiful and unique. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First Dance

I don't know if they practiced their dance or if they stepped on each other's feet because I couldn't take my eyes off of their faces. They smiled all night long. 

It was a wonderful start to a happy life together. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


On Saturday, October 18, The Schwarz and I went to a beautiful wedding. Everything was gorgeous, including the boutonnières

The parents were beaming, the bride and groom had premanent smiles, and the everything seemed effortless. The first dance was romantic and the toasts to the couple were equal parts humor and sentiment. 

It was all very elegant and very fun. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

An Apple Story

On October 5, The Schwarz and I picked two full bags of apples in Harvard, MA. I love picking apples; it's so much fun! Plus, I just love applesauce! 

This year I wanted to try something a little different, so I got my Gramma's favorite apple pie recipe and tried it out. It was my very first pie ever, and I think it was quite the success. It looked fairly professional and tasted delicious. 

I only needed 6 apples for the pie, so I had to get busy making applesauce. I used one full bag of apples and stirred two pots at the same time. I had to use a stool because my arm was starting to hurt -- I hate that picture of me (taken by The Schwarz), but I'm including it for my Gramma. I'd estimate that 40 - 50 apples went in to that first batch and we finished it in less than a week (I ate most of it)!  

How to make my favorite applesauce:
  • Peel and cut a bunch of apples (7 -15, depending how much you want).
  • Put them in a pot with a little bit of water - at least enough to cover the bottom - I usually put about an inch of water. 
  • Bring water to a boil, stirring occasionally. 
  • As the apples get softer, stir and mash like crazy. You're done when it's the consistency you prefer. 
  • Stir in a little bit of brown sugar (1 TB) and cinnamon. Add more to taste, as desired. 
  • Let cool and eat! 
I know those directions are pretty vague, but that's what I do. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Mother Nature is telling us that winter is coming. She sure has a lovely way of easing us into the cold! And aren't you thankful for that transition period? I think I would be much harder if we had to go from 80 degrees to 10 without the 40 and 30 degree mornings in between.

I took this picture in Amherst on October 4. It's already much colder than it was just two weeks ago. There's something nice about a brisk morning and pink cheeks. 

Make Records

Another sign directing people not to have babies! 

I like that this one tells us that we should be making records instead of babies or war. And don't worry, these records you're making will be "cheap!!!" and of "high quality!!!" The advertiser is incredibly enthusiastic about these features. Maybe if we could make cheap, high quality war or babies (!!!) this person would encourage those as well.

I can see that the advertiser is cheap: taping a piece of bright orange paper to a telephone pole wih clear paking tape doen't exactly scream expensive. I'm not sure I buy the whole high quality claim, however; just look at the the presentation and the way the paper has faded where it isn't covered by the tape. And they really put a lot of thought into the design, didn't they? 

Saturday, October 18, 2008


These instructions are simple enough, but who are they for? Any woman who happens to walk by? Or is it for one woman in particular who just has one baby after another? It could be commentary about overpopulation or the writer just doesn't like babies. 

I'll never know.

Friday, October 17, 2008

What His Outfit Says

I was in the Kendall Square T station and I saw this group of people across the tracks. 

That guy on the right really jumped out at me. Whenever I see men in white, short sleeved, button down shirts with black pant, I automatically think Mormon! I don't know if that guy is a Mormon, and I honestly don't care. However, it just proves how important first impressions can be. We can't deny that we all make snap decisions. I don't think it's bad to make these judgements - most likely we do this to quickly assess the danger of a situation or person - and often our opinions change (or are reinforced) as new information is obtained. 


I found this cicada on Matha's Vineyard this past Memorial Day weekend. While I was happy to find a bug sitting still for long enough to capture on camera, I could tell it was nearing the end of its life. I don't know how old it is; it could be 100 in cicada years. I like to think that this insect lived a long, healthy life and was merely retiring to the Vineyard. 

Some people are disgusted by bugs, but I've always found them really interesting. Look at those wings! Isn't nature amazing? Just beautiful.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


"Courageous" is the boat that won the America's Cup twice, but the name also appropriately describes the crew of the boat as it competes in a regatta in Nantucket Sound.

Eiffel Tower

Landmarks like the Eiffel tower immediately communicate a specific location, and the culture, attitudes, and emotions associated with that location.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


These two kids are from Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA. I imagine the one on the left is saying, "this guy with the camera is freaking me out," and the one on the right has a look that says, "tell me about it."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I think this is a heron. We saw it when we were visting UMass Amherst on October 4. Unlike the dozens of ducks and hundreds of geese visiting the Campus Pond, this guy (or gal) was a real loner. I don't really know anything about birds, but now that I'm thinking about it I don't believe I've ever seen a group (flock?)  of herons. Do they simply dine alone or do they also prefer to travel solo?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Squirrel

We saw this little guy when we were visiting UMass Amherst over the weekend. He was busy gathering food and ran up this tree when we got too close.

The squirrel and I had quite a stare down, which allowed me to snap a few pictures. I guess he won, since I eventually walked away and left him to his business.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

September Rose

I took this picture on September 20th. It was a cool day and I enjoyed the juxtaposition of a summery rose budding and the smell of autumn. 

The red rose has many meanings, including beauty, passion, and courage. I'm not sure why people assign meanings to roses, but I like the idea of this rose bud being courageous for daring to bloom in late summer/early fall. 


Strict is a word that makes me think of a mean, old headmistress in an old-fashioned boarding school. I sure wouldn't want to drive around with this license plate branding myself in that manner. 

Speaking of branding, who are these women who like to plaster stickers to their back windows that declare their bitchyness? I don't think that's allows for a positive first impression

Clean Up After Your Dog

As if this sign wasn't hilarious enough on its own, somebody went ahead and made edits. 

The person who made the speech bubbles was probably standing around waiting for their dog to do their business and thinking exactly what they wrote. 

The smiley faces are mystifying, and luckily they're fading away. 

As for the sign itself: at the bottom it says "$25.00 TO $200.00 FINE." Does anybody else think that's really funny? How do they decide how great or small the fine should be? Does it correlate with the size of the dog? I hope so!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blue Skies Ahead

On our way back to Boston last weekend we were racing a storm. Dark and gloomy skies threatened in my rearview mirror, but ahead skies were bright. At one point we even saw a rainbow! 

Eventually, the rain caught us again, but for a little while it was a real dichotomy.

Autumn In The Berkshires

We went to North Adams to celebrate my dad's birthday the weekend of September 27th. It was a cool, fall weekend and the trees were on their way to brilliant. Soon there will be leaf peepers creeping along and slowing down weekend traffic. 

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lonely In The Rain

It was interesting that this guy chose to stand away from the other commuters. Maybe he was just being courteous while talking on his phone. Maybe he thought everybody else smelled. In any event, he was the only person in sight not huddled under an overhang of some sort. What a rebel. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Biggest Tarp Ever

I cannot believe the size of this tarp! It covers the house! I had no idea they made tarps of this size or magnitude. What kind of construction are they doing that it has to be hidden? Maybe they're hiding spies on a stakeout! Perhaps this is a house full of stolen goods? Or maybe the constuction workers just like to play Wii when nobody is looking. 

It's probably protection from all the rain we've been having, but it's more fun to imagine that something weird is going on.

*Bonus: Porta-potty on the premises. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Last night we watched Away From Her. It's about an older couple and the toll Alzheimer's takes on their relationship. It's a beautiful movie that explores love and emotions. 

The main character, Fiona (played by Julie Christie, pictured above), has Alzheimer's, which is quickly progressing. She's a smart and interesting woman and it's difficult to see her losing her memory, especially through the eyes of her husband. I took a picture of the television screen just as the movie was at a turning point; she's leaving her house to enter a nursing home. It is interesting that her personal appearance degenerates at the same pace as her mind. Here you can see that she is perfectly made up and clearly aware of how she looks. As time goes by her hair becomes disheveled, her clothes get sloppy, and she loses all sense of color and taste. 

I can't imagine losing my sense of self and not even remembering which colors I like (oranges, reds, and pinks).


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